The best books in various thriller subgenres

Jeffrey B. Burton Author Of The Finders
By Jeffrey B. Burton

The Books I Picked & Why

The Defense

By Steve Cavanagh

The Defense

Why this book?

Legal Thrillers: The Defense by Steve Cavanagh is the best legal thriller I’ve ever read. Eddie Flynn, a former con artist turned lawyer, is forced to defend the head of the Russian mob in New York City who is on trial for murder. But that’s just the beginning of this Perry-Mason-on-steroids thriller as Flynn brings his A-game to thwart their plans and free his kidnapped daughter. Sleep in late the day you begin reading this legal thriller as you won’t sleep again until after you’ve finished it. Then you’ll be thrilled to discover that Cavanagh’s written several more Eddie Flynn thrillers (The Plea, Thirteen, The Liar).


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One Rough Man: A Spy Thriller

By Brad Taylor

One Rough Man: A Spy Thriller

Why this book?

Military Thrillers: One Rough Man by Brad Taylor is the first novel in Taylor’s Pike Logan/Jennifer Cahill series. Taylor’s Logan/Cahill novels are currently the best military thrillers on the scene as Pike and Jennifer and their team of commandos dash across the globe kicking terrorist ass. I picked One Rough Man because it contains the duo’s origin story (you’ve got to have that), but you’ll be delighted to know there’s about 15 more Logan/Cahill thrillers just waiting for you (Taylor’s a prolific author). So grab One Rough Man and begin the Logan/Cahill saga. Meanwhile, I’ll sit back and await your thank you note.


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The Poet

By Michael Connelly

The Poet

Why this book?

Mystery Thrillers: I picked up The Poet by Michael Connelly a couple decades back to read at the cabin and got introduced to the best mystery author of my generation. Quite frankly, I didn’t do much else at the cabin besides reading Connelly’s novel (crime reporter Jack McEvoy comes to realize his detective brother’s death was not a suicide after all). Since then I’ve read every Harry Bosch and Lincoln Lawyer and Renee Ballard mystery that’s come down the pike. Nobody has pulled the rug out from under me with wonderfully delicious plot twists more than Michael Connelly. And if you can pull the rug out from under me, I’ll love you for life.


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The Kind Worth Killing

By Peter Swanson

The Kind Worth Killing

Why this book?

Domestic Thrillers: I love Harlan Coben and Gillian Flynn and a half-dozen other authors that pen domestic thrillers, but I picked up Swanson’s Eight Perfect Murders last summer, loved it, and began snarfing up his other novels, of which my favorite is The Kind Worth Killing. It’s like strangers on a plane instead of strangers on a train (nuff said). Swanson certainly is a fan of classic mystery authors (Agatha Christie, Patricia Highsmith, etc.) as well as Alfred Hitchcock films. He’s got another half-dozen books in play, all of which deserve your immediate attention.


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Every Dead Thing: A Charlie Parker Thriller

By John Connolly

Every Dead Thing: A Charlie Parker Thriller

Why this book?

Supernatural Thrillers: Every Dead Thing by John Connolly is the first novel in Connolly’s Charlie Parker series (it contains Parker’s origin story). If you like your thrillers with a blood-curdling slice of the supernatural, run, don’t walk, to the nearest bookstore and pick up this novel. Haunted by his dead wife and daughter, Parker is an ex-cop turned private detective. And the cases Parker works—Good Lord!—best sleep with the lights on. Though John Connolly’s an Irish lad, his Parker novels take place along the East Coast (Parker lives in Portland, Maine). You’ll realize how literary and poetic Connolly’s prose is as the hairs on the back of your neck begin to rise and you refuse to investigate that sound you just heard coming from the basement.


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